Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dealing with a family full of packrats

I have started to go through some boxes early today. I can't believe the crap that is held onto by certain family members. Chris alone has two very old (very ancient) laptops that were given to us when we couldn't afford a new computer. Yet Chris is hemming and hawing on whether or not to part with them. Really? I mean what could they possibly be of use to us now and why would you want to keep useless machines? I am not saying to throw them in the trash but recycling comes to mind.

Katie is exactly like her dad in this aspect. It is so bad that every six months or so I have to sneak into her room while she is not home and go through her toy box and bin to throw out all the toys that have lost most of their parts or that I know she hasn't played with in ages. One time I made the mistake of doing this while she was just coming home from school and I felt like I got caught with my hand in the cookie jar when she found me cleaning out the toy box. She went through everything that I had thrown into a garbage bag and pretty much insisted on keeping just about everything in that bag. I don't mind her keeping stuff animals and some dolls but I see no rhyme or reason to keeping things that are broken or missing the essential pieces to said toy.

Jeff is a little better but he also has detachment issues on some items. He threw a fit no to long ago when I told him that the Pokemon and Yugi Oh cards were something that he should consider letting go. They have no value. They never really did. Every once in a while I will look to see if any of his cards could make him money. NADA, ZIP, ZILCH, BIG FAT ZERO!!! Yet he insists that maybe by the time he has kids they will be worth something. I doubt it.

Don't even get me started on my husband. He got a drum set that he insisted he had to have for Christmas one year. He NEVER learned how to play them and they sat around collecting dust for several years. I finally made him sell them in a yard sale we had last year. He collects more crap and when I finally get him to unload a lot of it and throw away, sell, or recycle some of it within a few weeks he has acquired more useless crap. He just had to have this remote control hummer a few years ago. A freaking toy! He hasn't "played" with it in over three years! The funny thing is he is just like my own father. Which coincidentally, we are storing his 1980 Suzuki motorcycle that isn't running at the moment in my garage. Will my dad ever sell it? NO WAY JOSE! Because "all it needs is a good cleaning and a tune up and it will run as good as new." Really? Than clean it and tune it up already!

I do not hold on to stuff forever. If I haven't used it in a year, obviously I do not need it and I either give it to goodwill, salvation army or whatever, sell it or toss it. They only things I keep are memorabilia. Photo albums, birthday cards (which I put into the kids scrapbooks) my letter from President Ronald Reagan from 1980 (That letter is actually framed along with the envelope it came in). Things that hold sentimental value for me. I don't even have the huge shoebox full of letters from friends in high school, pen pals or ex boyfriends. I grew out of that phase a long time ago. Like say, when I first became a mother.

I don't know how to reason with packrats either. They become completely irrational and borderline insane if you even suggest to them that maybe, just maybe they need to start getting rid of some things. It's enough to make me want to pull my hair out!

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